The Social Acceptability of Advertising

The Social Acceptability of Advertising

The Social Acceptability of Advertising

Advertising is rather more than a substitute for face-to-face selling. While it is true that nothing can equal the effectiveness of personal contact between seller and buyer, advertising, because it is impersonal, can attempt things which a salesman cannot do. Its chief asset is that it can repeat the sales message, over and over again. It can follow the consumer around and, virtually, wherever he is and whatever he is doing, he cannot for long escape its propaganda. Thanks to micro-circuitry and transistor electronics, commercial radio and television are repeating the advertiser's message on the beaches, in the parks, in cars, in public houses as well as in most homes in the land. Apart from broadcasting the consumer is subjected to the persuasion of both the 'hard' and the 'soft' sell every time he opens a newspaper or magazine, when he travels on London's Underground, in trains and on buses. At football matches and other sporting events, eye-catching signs repeat the message.

One may well question the morality of all this commercial propaganda. There are those who hold strong views on the subject and consider that, because one simply cannot escape from the influence of advertising, it has become an infringement of our liberties. The case for the anti-advertising lobby is expressed often enough and certainly, in Britain at least, there is a growing concern about the long-term effects of too much commercialization upon the outlook and way of life of society. It is not my purpose to argue the subject. For ONLINE MARKETING men, advertising is an essential part of their work and for those who may be seeking some justification for adding to the general hue and cry, the following factors are worth consideration.

Good advertising should be socially acceptable because:

(1) Demand is stimulated quickly, enabling overall production and distribution costs to be reduced.

(2) Correctly applied, it can even out peaks and troughs of con-sumer demand and achieve a consistent level of production, thus creating security for both the investor and the worker.

(3) A high and consistent level of demand enables transport costs to be reduced through better routing methods.

(4) The consumer is protected because the value of a good company name which advertising has created is a guarantee of quality and fair-dealing.

(5) The revenue from advertising supports the free Press and provides competition in the mass-media by financing commercial television and radio.

Let us now consider some of the objectives of an advertising campaign.

We have seen the importance of creating and maintaining a persuasive 'brand image' for consumer goods. The reader, in his role of consumer, will have been receptive to consumer advertising sufficiently long to recognize it for what it is. The purpose behind the promotion may not be so apparent.


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